“Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.” – Samuel Johnson quotes (English Poet, Critic and Writer. 1709-1784)
In my “less than Christian” days, one of my part-time jobs was as an artist’s model. One of my contracts was to pose as the statue of David for a sculpting class. Dividing the Sculpture studio from the Pottery studio was a set of double doors. I noticed that, although there weren’t any students in there, there was music playing and a few lights on.
In between Sculpting sessions, I took a 30 minute break, and went into the Pottery room and saw one of the Art Professors working with some clay. Ken, the Master Potter, was building the most beautiful object I have seen in that studio. There were several of them, in various stages of progress. I saw one that had been out of the kiln for about a day, and in cooling off, had developed a sizable crack.
I asked Ken what he will do with that piece. He pointed to a grinder, and said, that grinder will pulverize the pottery back down to a fine powder. I can re-use that powder to make something else. Then he pointed to a very beautiful vase he had made, and said that is how he made that vase. It was exquisite. He had shaped that pulverized powder to a very thin layer, and had made something more beautiful than it was before. When I thumped the edge of the vase with my fingernail, it actually gave a sweet ring, as if it were crystal instead of reformed clay.
I know that had I made the same effort, the globular mass that would have been produced would not ring like fine china. The difference is what the hands of a master can produce.
That clay did not mean to crack. And the potter could have thrown the cracked clay away and dismissed it as flawed. But it was like Ken explained, he was invested in that clay. Part of himself went into making the original shape. His love for beauty and patience with the creative process made it nearly impossible for him to dismiss any broken piece as being useless.
God treats us like this, too. Sometimes we crack. When we take our eyes off what matters, we mess up. When we take matters into our own hands, we forget why God sent us in the first place. The beauty of God is that He is ever forgiving, ever-loving, and will never allow anything to take you out of His hands. That is a promise.
Another promise is, as long as we keep our eyes on Him, and follow Him, and listen to Him, HE will direct our paths. The Grace of God comes in when we take our eyes off Him. We crack under the pressure of doing things our way. In His mercy, He keeps us close to His heart. He sees your flaw as an opportunity to continue to work with you. He will refine us over and over again and again until we resemble His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
The Father disciplines the one that He loves.
When you crack, and break, have no fear of the wrath of God. God has already expended His wrath on Jesus, while Jesus was on the cross. Jesus became all our sins, all our disease, all our failings, all our disappointment, all that can possibly go wrong. When He did that, He gave all that He was before God to us. We received the right to be called the children of God. We belong to Him. We do not have to fear God’s wrath because we messed up.
God doesn’t ever set you up for failure. All His gifts are good. If you have been sent by God, but you mess up what He told you to do, rest in Him, and be assured that, whatever it is that He will make of your curses, will, in the end, be a blessing. Not just for you, but for anyone that sees what God did with you. This is so that all souls can be drawn to Him.
Let’s be about it!
I love you in the Name of Jesus.
David G. Perkins